Let’s be honest, we’re not short of coffee shops in Manchester and we find it hard to get away from two trends – kitsch and industrial. It’s pretty much everywhere, and we can’t seem to shake it. Idle hands though, somehow seems to pull off this industrial look, perhaps because of it’s subtle accents of the 70′s. The design is basic, but that is it’s exact charm- it is functional without the pretence of some Northern Quarter bars and coffee joints. (Which I still go to regularly, I’m just not happy about it…)
Idle hands which has been open for about two months now, prides itself on proper good coffee and they know exactly where it comes from. Their ethos (which is painted on the wall with pride) is that a lot of people, and processes are involved in getting that coffee in that cup and they ensure that they are providing the best quality bean for us lovely folk and I like that.
I’m enjoying sitting here with my flat white (measured in ounces oh la la) and a very commendable slice of orange chocolate tart and I hope that this little unit is here to stay. I remember a friend of mine coming to Manchester from Piccadilly Station a fair few years back and was almost shocked at how run down the station area is, and I never really thought about it before. I wanted to say ‘ohhhh it’s actually very nice here when you get into town’ and I’m hoping that I will have to say that less in the years to come. Station approach has had some bright sparks of loveliness, including the recent Hunt and Darton cafe in association with SICK! Festival. H&D was a hit with its tongue in cheek cafe vibe, with a bit of performance art served on the side. Only open for two weeks, this created excitement around an area that is often bypassed by commuters and visitors wanting to get into the centre of the city. These small units should be embraced by those who have bold ideas about Manchester’s eclectic and entrepreneurial society. We need more people, such as those lovely people at Idle Hands, to make this 10 minute walk down to Piccadilly a less transitional area and make it worth the visit, not just for a small stop before your train to Hull.